Oct 12

I... think I'll stop at the next space station...Click for full image

Billy Awesome Comments: Pull out all the stops.  I want the head of Sturgeon as a devil, floating on an asteroid made partially of humanoid hands and torsos, and partially of a futuristic city that looks like a garbage truck, his hair a naked lady with a peacock feather magic aura, his brow haloed by dollar store xmas tinsel.  I want a topless mermaid riding a unicorn over a chain that secures nothing.  I want an astronaut trying to take a smoke break through his bubble helmet, and a nude baby on a floating cockle shell awestruck by the majesty of it all.  Don’t let me down.  Let’s make some magic!
Published 1964

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.98 out of 10)

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18 Responses to “Sturgeon in Orbit”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    When Jake and Dinos Chapman redesigned the ISS, it wasn’t pretty. But it is art!

  2. James Says:

    words cannot express how much I love this.

  3. Frank Says:

    This is indeed so over-the-top to be GSS-worthy…but it is also classic SF cover art, and so well done. Read the “About the Cover” section within for what Ted Sturgeon had to write about it. Not only has this book followed me home, so has the issue of F&SF for which this cover art was painted.

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Like the hair and nails, goiters can grow (briefly) after decapitation.

  5. Bibliomancer Says:

    Swish! … Nothing but net!

  6. Tat Wood Says:

    Sturgeon’s Third Law: A Man needs a Woman like a Mermaid needs a Unicorn.

  7. Tat Wood Says:

    And he’s looking at us as if to say: Go on, then – ask the next question.

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Baen Editor to Artist: “For this new book release, I want you to go apeshit. I want a giant soldier with genitals made of hand grenades and cannon barrels, and on both arms he carries two naked chicks bodypainted in camouflage patterns — one in jungle patterns, one in desert patterns — who fire bazookas, while he’s trampling aliens of six different colors underneath his combat boots which are painted like flags, and… and… ”
    [Editor passes out from lack of oxygen]

  9. fred Says:

    Well, that beats a fleet of Death Stars for intergalactic awesomeness. Solid gold caviar.
    Behind you?

  10. Anna T. Says:

    The description somehow left out what looks an awful lot like a tangle of naked people by Sturgeon’s neck, and the giant hand grasping at them. It’s probably Sturgeon’s hand.

    Also, I had no idea that being a giant-headed space devil could cause naked women to sprout from your head.

  11. Perry Armstrong Says:

    I’m certain I’ve seen a different cover (not necessarily on this site) in which another sci-fi author is depicted having naked women emerging from his head – as in “Sex on the Brain” – but I can’t remember who it was. That said, our friend Sturgeon not only has sex on the brain, but some sort of orgy going on in his big… veiny… neck… Ew.

  12. Perry Armstrong Says:

    @AnnaT: Neckromancer?

  13. RachelJ Says:

    I’ll never understand art directors. Why in space doesn’t this cover depict an actual sturgeon orbiting a planet, thus elegantly combining surrealism with wordplay?

    (I mean if Sturgeon was sensitive about his silly name he’d have changed it, right?)

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:


  15. anon Says:

    BTW, if you read the highlighted word you get THE NEW STURGEON O. I’m not sure I really want to read about that, neck-romancing or not.

  16. Perry Armstrong Says:

    If the baby and smoking astronaut are meant to represent other aspects of Sturgeon’s life, then I guess we’ve got:


    … I’ll get me coat.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I see after 3 years that no one’s mentioned the tentacle monster behind hair lady.

  18. anon Says:

    The astronaut is thinking: “How did this happen? It looks nothing like in the pictures. This is the last time I buy a space station from IKEA.”

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